Monday, 7 July 2014

Helicopter crash in Vietnamese capital's west kills 16, injures 5

A military helicopter crashed in the west of Vietnamese capital Hanoi on Monday morning, killing 16 people and injuring five.

Approximately at 7:45 local time (0045 GMT) on Monday, a helicopter crashed in Hoa Lac of Thach That District during a parachute training exercise, reported Vietnam's state-run news agency VNA.

The Russian-made Mi-171 plane of the Helicopter Regiment 916 of the Air Defense-Air Force Service's Air Division 371 took off from Hoa Lac Airport in Hanoi's western district of Thach That at 7:30 a.m. local time (0030 GMT) with 21 people onboard.

Some 16 minutes later, it lost contact and came down in Hoa Lac village, Binh Yen commune, about 3 km from the airport.

The cause of the accident is under investigation, said the report.

A middle-aged woman told Xinhua at the scene that she saw a helicopter hovering above when she was working at a paddy field.

"It is quite normal to see helicopter hovering above here because there is a military airbase located 2 km away. However, I then felt strange as the helicopter kept flying around," she said.

"I heard an explosion and saw the helicopter crash down to the paddy fields," she told Xinhua.

The eyewitness said she saw three people jump out of the helicopter after the explosion and get burnt.

"After the officials came, around six to seven bodies were pulled out of the wreckage," she said.

"Then I was evacuated from the site by military officials," she said.

At 11:00 local time (0400 GMT), Xinhua reporters saw ambulance vans and military vehicles still coming out from the village site. The entrance to the village has been blocked.

Earlier, Phi Quoc Tuan, Vietnam's Capital Military Region Commander, by telephone told reporters at 9:00 a.m. (0200 GMT) that the accident occurred during training.

Monday 07 July 2014


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